Facilitation Practice

Kirthi Jayakumar
Posted March 28, 2016 from India
My Participants!
My Participants!: My Participants! (1/2)

Last week, I was asked to visit the Chennai branch of an MNC and lead a session with the women in their team. I went there this morning for the session. I decided to apply the tools of storytelling and doing so through digital media to the team. It was one of the most amazing experiences I had. I started with a communications game to show them how valuable and important communication is in getting your truth across, and in staying authentic to the portrayal. I then led them through listening and telling exercises, and drew from the Digital Empowerment Trainer Resources. I talked about telling one’s story, why or how digital empowerment matters, and then went on to talking to them about safety and security. I then spent some time with them as they went about writing their stories. Some of them had their laptops, so they used it to type up their stories and present them on their own blogs. I also introduced them to World Pulse and showed them some of the advantages of signing up to the forum and building their own platforms to tell their stories.

One thing I learned from this teaching:

Everyone has a story of value to tell. They just need the right resources and the tools to help them do it.

How was it to share this activity with other women?

Empowering and inspiring! It was unique because the women were inquisitive and shy at the same time, but they broke out of their moulds and began to speak effectively.

What worked well?

Telling my own story first! It is not a good idea to make others do what you wouldn’t do yourself, so I started by telling my story – so that they would be comfortable telling theirs.

What was more difficult?

Getting some of them to see the logic in telling their stories! In many women, it was so deeply ingrained that their narratives didn’t count, that the conditioning had to be deconstructed.

How could the difficulties be addressed the next time you train others?

A few more local voices that include women beneficiaries from similar trainings could speak up to help these women see the value in telling their stories.

Comments 7

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Nancy Harkrider
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

What an empowering facilitation!  Your thoughtful reflection will not only help you in your future facilitation goals, but provide valuable "take aways" for other leaders.

I am certain that as your mentor I will continue to learn and remind myself that nothing is more valuable than the commitment to our life time learning, focused on our curiosity about what works.

helen.ng
Mar 28, 2016
Mar 28, 2016

Hello Kirthijay,

Thank you for sharing such an inspirational and empowering post! It was lovely to hear about your experiences and the lessons learned. I completely agree with you in that everyone has a story to tell, and we can all learn from hearing about the experiences of others. Our experiences, our memories our stories - these are what make us unique and interesting. I'm glad that you were able to break the ice by opening up about yourself first, and then having more confidence build up among the women there. I hope to hear more about your work.

With kindest regards,

Helen Ng

Kirthi Jayakumar
Mar 29, 2016
Mar 29, 2016

Thank you Nancy! You are the BEST mentor anyone could ask for!

Thank you Helen - your kind words and your inspiring thoughts make me feel so valued and encouraged to keep at it and to work harder and harder.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Mar 31, 2016
Mar 31, 2016

Hi Kirthijay Thanks for sharing. Thats truly awesome and its true the biggest challenge we have is trying to make these women understand that their voices count. Changing their mindset is a very big challenge but as we take baby steps we shall get there . Stay blessed my dear sister

Kirthi Jayakumar
Apr 02, 2016
Apr 02, 2016

Thank you dear sister!!

Stephanie A
Apr 11, 2016
Apr 11, 2016

Kirthi,

I'm excited to learn how successful your training was! It sounds like you had a great impact on the women you trained, and what an amazing outcome that you felt empowered, as well!

Your takeaways are so valuable, and your method of telling your story first is in line with what Sarah shared on our Module 6 call - that using a model of I do it first, then we do it together, and then you do it on your own helps your training participants feel comfortable and learn better. It sounds like this was a powerful part of your training for these women!

Your point about helping women see the value in telling their own stories is an important reflection, and I like your ideas about bringing in other local voices as a support. In this way you are really learning where your community is at and reflecting on what they need. 

Thanks for sharing your experience with us, I especially love seeing all the photos!

Stephanie

amymorros
Apr 23, 2016
Apr 23, 2016

Thank you for the update on your training. I am so impressed by your work. You were able to learn what worked best and what might need improvement for the next time. I always find that storytelling grabs people's attention, especially if it is something personal. I find that a sense of humor works too!